'What a joke': Cricket world explodes over 'appalling' farce

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Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley, pictured here leaving the field after rain stopped play.
Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley leave the field after rain stops play on the fourth day of the second Test between England and Pakistan. (Photo by STU FORSTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Cricket fans and pundits were left fuming on Sunday after just 10.2 overs were played on day four of the second Test between England and Pakistan.

Pakistan claimed the early wicket of opener Rory Burns for a duck to leave England 1-7 in their first innings, but rain wreaked havoc on the rest of the day at the Rose Bowl.

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A little over an hour's play was possible at the start of the day before rain forced the players from the field, and with more bad weather predicted for Monday, the match is meandering towards a tame draw.

Players never made it back onto the field after being taken off midway through the first session, with play abandoned at tea.

However there was uproar at the decision to call things off before the final session, with blazing sunshine bathing the ground for the rest of the afternoon.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was gobsmacked by the early call after also deriding umpires for taking players off the field for bad light in the first Test.

“Called Off for the day at 350pm as the sun shines ... no urgency to get water off the covers ... Not one groundstaff member has walked outside to check the outfield ... but they say it will take 3 hrs ... !!! Nearly time for a beer ... #Bonkers #OnOn,” Vaughan tweeted.

Others including John Etheridge of The Sun were also fuming that the ground would need three hours to dry out.

“Called off for the day in Southampton. They say it could take three hours to dry. How do they know? NOT A SINGLE PERSON HAS BEEN OUT TO THE MIDDLE,” he tweeted.

“Don't think there's a single pundit/commentator/journo etc who doesn't think the lack of urgency and intent in this Test has been appalling.”

Others posted images of the ‘glorious’ conditions that could have been utilised for the evening session.

Rory Burns fails again for England

England bowled out the tourists for 236, with top scorer Mohammad Rizwan (72) being the last Pakistani batsman to be dismissed, and then managed only five overs of their reply.

That was enough time for Burns to lose his wicket as he was caught at second slip by Asad Shafiq off the bowling of Shaheen Afridi in the bowler-friendly conditions.

It was another failure for the left-hander in the series after he managed scores of four and 10 in the first Test.

Dom Sibley (2 not out) and Zak Crawley (5 not out) will continue the innings if play is possible on the fifth day.

Umpires, pictured here leaving the field after an inspection.
Umpires leave the field after an inspection at the Rose Bowl. (Photo by Glyn Kirk/PA Images via Getty Images)

Pakistan had resumed on 9-223, the first bit of action since just before 5pm on Friday afternoon, with Rizwan flashing his bat in an attempt to score quick runs.

He added 12 to his total before he was caught by Crawley at cover point trying to hit Stuart Broad (4-56) to the boundary.

Broad’s figures were the best in the innings, followed by James Anderson (3-60), who answered a number of his critics following questions over whether he should retire after a poor last test in Manchester.

England won that game by three wickets and lead the three-match series 1-0. The final Test will start in Southampton on Friday.

with Reuters